Do you know the difference between physical activity and exercise? Both of those terms are thrown around when it comes to health and wellness, but they are not the same thing. To put it simply, physical activity is using your body to move around. Examples of physical activity are walking, gardening, cleaning, etc. MyPlate.gov recommends that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity at a moderate level each week. MyPlate also recommends you incorporate strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. This is where exercise comes in to play. Exercise is more than just using your body to move around. Exercise is planned or structured movement, done with the intention of improving physical fitness. Exercise improves your cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Both physical activity and exercise are important to your overall health.
If you are just getting started with physical activity and exercise, start simple. Here are a few ideas:
- Join a walking group.
- Go on a bike ride with your kids.
- Push the baby in a stroller.
- Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching the kids play.
- Walk the dog.
- Clean the house or wash the car.
- Mow the lawn with a push mower.
- Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden.
- Play with the kids — tumble in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.
- Get off the bus one stop early and walk or skate the rest of the way.
- Replace a break at work with a brisk 10-minute walk.
- Park at the far end of a parking lot and walk in.
When you’re ready, add exercise into the mix. Resistance training, HIIT workouts, circuit training, plyometrics, and even yoga are all great examples of exercise. Click here, or look for the Create An Active Lifestyle tab at the top of this page, for plenty of exercise ideas, and information on creating an active lifestyle.
When you need to refuel your body, give Honey and Wheat Muffins a try.
The recipe calls for Honey & Wheat Mix. You can find the recipe by clicking here. I like to use a mini muffin pan to make 24 mini muffins rather than 12 large muffins. That makes them the perfect size to pop into your mouth. I keep a batch of them on the counter for a quick snack, or to add grains to any meal. Enjoy!